Cook: Time to get tough on Pompey

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

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PAUL COOK has vowed to get tough in a bid to drive out the ‘idle’ play hampering Pompey’s progress.

The Blues’ standards have slipped since the 5-1 thumping of Barnet, with successive defeats.

You will probably see me sent to the stands more, but I feel I have to do that to them

That has forced their manager to re-evaluate his own touchline performance.

Cook believes he needs to raise the intensity of his involvement from the sidelines, stamping down on players operating below their standards.

It’s a change of approach he believes may result in incurring the wrath of more match officials.

However, with a visit to Leyton Orient tomorrow, the Blues boss is adamant his players require a firmer hand.

He said: ‘For me as a manager, it is about being a little bit tougher with them now.

‘That’s the reality, a bit stronger and a little bit more of hitting them with the proverbial stick.

‘It’s about being stronger with them. We cannot just sit back and think “We’re Portsmouth we have the best players in the league so we’ll win the league”.

‘Yet that has been the case in a couple of games.

‘When we have that “We are Portsmouth and let’s get our fans up and show everyone what a good hard-working team we are” then we are great. We need more of those days.

‘You will probably see me sent to the stands more, but I feel I have to do that to them.

‘If you take a step back and let them play they are idle.

‘I was determined not to get into trouble at Accrington and we were flat. At Doncaster I tried to stand back and watch the game from higher, yet we didn’t start.

‘That is why I think in the end my body language can sort of limit our performances.

‘We have to be at it, we have to have triggers to be at it. You can probably tell after 15 to 20 minutes how we are going to play and that is the worry.

‘We have a team of good players, we are not yet a good team.

‘And if anyone sees me asleep at Orient tomorrow you’ll know what you’re going to get!’

Pompey will go up against a struggling Orient side with a new manager in charge.

Former Sampdoria boss Alberto Cavasin replaced Andy Hessenthaler at Brisbane Road earlier this week.

And Cook has called on his team to maintain a work ethic he insists has always been present.

He added: ‘You won’t always win, but if you make sure your fans clap you off that normally means you have done your best.

‘Within our group, I may add, we have no bad lads, that’s the truth. They are what they are – individuals who have not yet joined as a collective team.

‘I can’t look back at a game this season and go “They never turned up”. Never.

‘It’s just a case of making sure we are at it.’

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